Armstrong defeats defending champion Seneca Valley

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A battle of two evenly-matched teams transpired Thursday night at North Hills High School in the Semifinal Round of the Class 4A Girls’ Volleyball tourney.

Seneca Valley went on a 7-0 run in the early portion of Game 1, but after a timeout call by Armstrong coach Andrea Lasher, The River Hawks regrouped and pulled to within two. The two teams went back-and-forth with the Hawks grabbing a slim lead at the 11-10 mark.

Armstrong, behind nine kills from Kenzie Lasher, took the first game, 25-22. Both teams again exchanged the lead at different times in set two, but the Raiders grabbed the lead at 21-20 and never relinquished it, winning by the slimmest of margins in regulation, 25-23, and evening the match at a game apiece.

Seneca Valley held the lead for most of the early portion of set three. That was until a bit of controversy over a call involving a ball played into the net led to a lengthy discussion among the officials. First, they ruled in favor of the Raiders, then they reversed that call for the Hawks after further discussion. Ultimately, the officials decided on a do-over on the point.

The Hawks won the point, and that turned out to be the turning point of the match as Armstrong went on a 5-0 run and pulled away, taking set three, 25-17, and a 2-1 lead. The Hawks never allowed the raiders to get too far ahead in the match, and in set four, they grabbed the lead for good at 16-15 and went on to win, 25-22, and take the match, 3-1.

Armstrong will play for the WPIAL Class 4A Championship Saturday at Baldwin against North Allegheny.  Seneca Valley, meanwhile, will also play at Baldwin in consolation match against Hempfield. The three-spot in the PIAA state playoffs hangs in the balance in that one.